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With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the nation weighs in on her legacy

SHARE With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the nation weighs in on her legacy
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In this Feb. 6, 2017, file photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.

Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

News broke on Friday evening that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. As the second woman to serve on the high court and a lifelong women’s rights advocate who wrote many significant majority opinions, Ginsburg became a cultural icon as she gradually moved toward the liberal wing of the court and her dissents became more forceful.

With her passing, prominent figures from politics and the media have weighed in on the legacy she left behind.

Amanda L. Tyler, who clerked for Ginsburg, wrote for The Atlantic that Ginsburg was her personal hero and a woman of integrity, who brought out the best in those who worked for her.

“As I reflect now on her legacy, my heart aches for most of the very same reasons that our nation is witnessing a public outpouring of grief,” she wrote. “Through her life and work, the justice labored tirelessly to make sure that our Constitution leaves no one behind, that it is everyone’s document and belongs to ‘We the People.’”

Former President Barack Obama praised Ginsburg in a blog post for her work against discrimination on the basis of sex, calling her “a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist.”

“Justice Ginsburg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land,” he wrote. “Michelle and I admired her greatly, we’re profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and our condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight.”

National Review’s Isaac Schorr observed how Ginsburg’s fight with pancreatic cancer was indicative of her toughness, calling her “the consummate American and patriot.”

“I don’t know exactly how Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s cancer progressed. I do know that it’s remarkable that she did not succumb to this insidious ailment until 11 years after she first underwent surgery for it. It was characteristic of Justice Ginsburg to beat the odds. But I doubt that that makes tonight any easier for her family.”

The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg discussed the deeply personal legacy Ginsburg left for women and mentioned her relationship with her late husband, who she said “had no problem letting his wife take first billing.”

“For (women) around the country, the loss of Justice Ginsburg brought on a very particular kind of grief,” she wrote. “It was ... the loss of an elder stateswoman of feminism, a powerhouse octogenarian who had become an unlikely icon to women of all ages, and especially the millennial set. For many women, and many girls, it was also a deeply personal loss.”

The Deseret News’ Boyd Matheson reflected on Ginsburg’s friendship with late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a fierce ideological opponent who she nevertheless described as her “best buddy.”

“Yes, it’s her relationships, not her court opinions, that the nation ought to remember the most. Right now, contempt and hate for dissenters is the piston that drives far too many conversations online and in the public square,” he wrote. “But Justice Ginsburg proved that friendship is part of the fabric that has, for more than 233 years, bound up and healed the nation.

“Ginsburg showed in her relationship and friendship with Scalia that unity and harmony in the United States had little to do with disagreeing less; it was really about learning to disagree better. America is at its best when it is a country of big ideas, competing philosophies and respectful debate.”

Former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called Ginsburg a “a role model” and “source of hope,” urging listeners to “continue to be a voice for justice in her name.”

President Donald Trump acknowledged Ginsburg’s passing in a statement, calling her a “titan of the law” and celebrating her more than 27 years on the Supreme Court.

“Renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg demonstrated that one can disagree without being disagreeable toward one’s colleagues or different points of view,” the statement read. “Her opinions, including well-known decisions regarding the legal equality of women and the disabled, have inspired all Americans, and generations of great legal minds.”

And Chief Justice John Roberts, with whom Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 15 years, recognized her historic contributions to the judiciary and her unwavering dedication to justice.

“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague,” he said in a statement released by the high court. “Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”